Friday, June 17, 2011

San Diego Bucket List

Inspired by my other San Diego post, this will answer the "What should I do if I'm just in town for the weekend? What do I need to do before I leave? etc.

I'll try to make this a list of generally fun/nice/pleasant things to do. Since everyone has a different style, I'll make the list as diverse as possible:

  • Visit Marine Street in La Jolla, it's beautiful.
  • Drive down sixth avenue into downtown. You have the harbor to your right, Balboa to your left, and downtown at 12 o'clock with planes going over your head.
  • There's a spot down by the airport, right across the street from Terminal 2 that has these benches that sit right on the water with Coronado across the bay and downtown in front of you. It's a great view.
  • Obviously Balboa Park, the museums and the zoo.
  • Lestat's has great coffee and is open 24/7.
  • San Diego was NPR's "Beer City, USA" last year. The Breweries and Brew Pubs: Stone, Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, Coronado, Karl Strauss, Alesmith, Green Flash, Blind Lady Ale House, The Local, The Ritual Tavern, and Hamilton's
  • Hike at Torrey Pines.
  • Visit Sunset Cliffs (at sunset...).
  • Gaslamp for the night crowd. As of today the popular clubs are On Broadway, Fluxx, Stingaree, Ivy, and Boudoir.
  • Visit Seaport Village.
  • Sea World is fun. Take the skytower ride, see the sea otter show, and check out the Clydesdales.
  • Visit Coronado and the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Peohe's is a nice but expensive restaurant.
  • Rent some kayaks in La Jolla and go out into the cove and caves.
  • Hike Cowles Mountain. It has the highest peak in San Diego and a beautiful view.
  • Visit the Silver Strand.
  • Visit Mission Bay and Belmont Park.
  • San Diego Maritime Museum aka The Star of India. Also the USS Midway.
  • Seasonal things: Miramar Airshow, races at Del Mar, Comic Con, a game at Petco, hot air balloons in Solana Beach.
  • If you're into people watching, Imperial Ocean Beach has world class hobos, Pacific Beach has world class bros. (thanks Anabel)
  • Point Loma Lighthouse for whale watching.
  • Excellent dive sights if you can tolerate coldish water: Wreck diving off of PB, Kelp forests of Point Loma and La Jolla Cove, Coronado Islands, Catalina.
  • Ocotillo and the eastern deserts. Spring is great for fluoro cactus flowers. Best place for meteor showers. Plenty of hidden jewels and hikes: Mud caves, wind caves, hot springs, "The pumpkin patch", Valley of the Moon (In-Ko-Pah), the lookout tower, etc. Also great 4WDing.
  • Julian, a little mountain town about 1.5hrs out of SD city. Hikes and apple pie.
  • Santee Lakes and Mission Trails, Old Mission Dam, and the many lakes scattered around east county for hiking or fishing (or ice blocking at Mission Trails golf course).
  • Paintball on the Viejas reservation.
  • Rock climbing (outdoor) various locations all within an hour from SD.
  • Children's Pool in La Jolla for some seal watching.
  • La Jolla Indian Reservation for tubing.
  • Meditation Garden in Encinitas. (Thanks Syp)
  • Local Farmers Markets (Recommend Little Italy if you like Sea Urchin!)

I'll be adding more as I think of them or if there's something I missed put it in the comments.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Be yourself is shitty advice

I cringe when I’m asking for advice and someone says, “Be yourself.” Don’t get me wrong, people often say it with greatest of intentions. What they mean is, “Stop pretending to be someone you aren’t, stop trying to fit in, start standing out, and be your true awesome self.”

So that is great advice when that’s exactly what you need to hear. If that is your problem, then this is the best advice you can get. The problem is, people say “Be yourself” when most of the time it’s shitty advice for the situation. Here’s why:

1) If yourself sucks why would you want to keep being it. Obviously the current version of yourself isn’t getting the job done, that’s why you’re asking for help.

2) It’s lazy advice. It’s something people say when they want to sound supportive but can’t help you. They either don’t care or have no experience or useful advice to give.

3) There are no steps. If I can’t be myself already, then how is flatly telling me going to help? It’s like asking for someone for help because a bridge is out and I can’t get across the river and the person says, “find a way to get across.” Even if I can use the advice, it’s doing nothing for me.

4) It deflects blame. If you “be yourself” then the advice giver can’t be held accountable. It gives the person taking the advice a way out also. If you are being yourself and it doesn’t work out, it becomes someone else’s problem. It is basically saying: The world should just accept you for who you are! Why try to better yourself when you can just sit around being you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So you’re looking for a job?

So you're unemployed, looking for work, looking to make your switch, or fresh out of college. I hear the same excuses over and over about the job market and I've been asked how I made my switch. What follows are some job-hunting tips that I notice some people are just not following at all:

1) Practice interviews. With friends, with employers you don’t care about, with anyone willing to sit down with you and practice. What sucks worse than not being able to get an interview is blowing the interview when you get the chance. I could have a whole entry about the importance of interviews, but this bullet should suffice. Interviews are important. That’s why this is #1.

2) Continue education. That doesn’t mean sitting in a classroom and taking classes, although it could be. Educate yourself on what the job will entail, know the lingo. Talk with someone who will be your peer, or someone who does your job title at another company. If you already know what you’re going to do when you start it paints a picture in the employers mind of what it will be like when you're hired. In addition, educating yourself in relevant subjects at a school shows that you have commitment, interest, and dedication.

3.a) Tailor your applications. Have you really sent out 100 applications? I doubt it. If you really sent out 100 applications last month then you are doing one of two things wrong. 1) You aren’t targeting jobs that you would make sense doing. 2) You haven’t taken the time to tailor your resume each and every time you send it. It makes me cringe when I see a cover letter that says “To whom it may concern”. Also, try ordering your experience by relevance and not date. Try to be succinct, but go over 1 page if you feel like it's necessary.
3.b) Don’t tailor your applications. If you’re applying for a job and not a career on a massive website, then the shotgun approach isn’t bad. Quantity over quality works when you are looking for work quickly.

4) Use your network. Annoy your friends until they help you find a job. I know which one of my friends is looking the hardest because those are the people asking me for help. People should be recommending you. Nepotism exists, get over it. Yes, there are places where you have to know someone to get in, make sure you know that someone.

5) Volunteer. Especially if it’s in the area you hope to get into. Downtime on a resume can look bad, keep yourself busy doing this or #2. If you are unemployed, spend 10-20 hours a week volunteering at something that makes your resume look better and spend 40 hours a week job searching, tailoring your resume, and making connections.

6) Look harder but smarter. Jobs posted on Monster, Craigslist, and CB get thousands of applications. To find jobs with a low number of applicants, scour the websites of obscure companies that you may not know about.

7) Call them. Like I mentioned above, some jobs can see hundreds if not thousands of applicants for just one position. Guess how many of those people call? Have a talk with someone in the office to express your interest. Treat it like an interview. Don’t be annoying, don’t call 100 times, but show that you have the initiative. By the time you get to the interview hopefully they will at least have an idea of who you are and they’ll pay more attention when you talk.

Good luck on the job hunt, it is possible to find work in this economy... I'm proof!